Sunny skies, mild temperatures and train whistles conjured visions of summertime baseball during the Jan. 27 Hutch Award Luncheon honoring Mark Teahen of the Chicago White Sox.
"It's always great to be recognized for what you do for the community, but with everything this award stands for, to get recognized by a group like this is pretty cool,” Teahen said in his acceptance speech to some 650 attendees, outdoors at Safeco Field.
Teahen said the Hutch Award® and its connection with the Hutchinson Center mean more to him because his mom, Marty, is battling breast cancer.
Presented annually at a fundraising luncheon to benefit the Center, the Hutch Award is given to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great and Center namesake, Fred Hutchinson. This year’s luncheon raised more than $190,000 for The Gregory Fund® benefiting the Center’s early cancer-detection research.
Bringing baseball to children with challenges
Recently traded to Chicago, Teahen was a longtime third baseman for the Kansas City Royals. He serves as a key spokesman and fundraiser for the YMCA Challenger Baseball program, a division of Little League Baseball that gives children with physical or mental challenges the opportunity to play the game.
Teahen’s affinity for children was apparent the morning of the luncheon, when he and keynote speaker Dave Dravecky visited young patients and family members of patients at the Hutch School. Teahen and Dravecky fielded questions and signed autographs for the students. Dravecky was the 1989 Hutch Award winner and a legendary pitcher whose baseball career ended with the loss of his left arm to cancer.
For more information about the Hutch Award, including a list of past recipients, visit www.fhcrc.org/hutchaward.